Arts integration success: Today, a fifth grade teacher in Beaverton, Ore. reported that a student who has dyslexia and reads below grade level is gaining confidence as he successfully completes the literacy/music projects in their Arts 4 Learning unit.
In this unit by Young Audiences, students read chapters of the book Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, make literacy inferences, and create musical phrases and motifs that represent elements of the characters, what they are thinking and feeling. The first nine lessons are led by the classroom teacher (who has received professional development training). The music artist enters at Lesson 10; I started today at one school. It's amazing how well the students can articulate what they have learned, and why they made the choices they did in their compositions. They are listening to each other, and collaborate well in problem solving and performance. Today I listened to their previous work, and showed them how to create graphic notation. Each Seedfolks Ensemble then developed graphic notation that represented a character motif they had written. In future sessions, we'll compose a musical theme that represents the overarching theme of the book, and create a composition that will be performed for fellow students.
Other Arts 4 Learning units integrate literacy with dance or visual art. Contact your local Young Audiences Chapter for more information!